GrammarPhile Blog

Common Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them – Part 1

Posted by Kelly Sherman   May 25, 2017 7:30:00 AM

All writers make mistakes. Some writers aren’t the best with punctuation, while others struggle with pronouns and hyphens. Know the mistakes you are more inclined to make so that you can fix them before submitting or publishing your work. Below are some common mistakes writers make, and how you can avoid them.

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Topics: common mistakes, writing mistakes

5 Words Even Smart People Misuse

Posted by Terri Porter   Feb 11, 2016 5:00:00 AM

Although few people compare with the likes of, say, George W. Bush in creative applications of the English language, most of us have at one time or another used the wrong word in writing or speaking. Following are five misused word pairs we’ve seen in recent months at

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Topics: common mistakes, misused words

Proofreading Horror Stories

Posted by Terri Porter   Oct 21, 2015 7:00:00 AM


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Topics: common mistakes, common proofreading mistakes, proofreading errors, proofreading mistakes

8 Proofreading Red Flags

Posted by Terri Porter   Jul 16, 2015 6:30:00 AM

red flagWith the celebration of the American flag on Independence Day and the recent flap around the Confederate battle flag, now seems a good time to talk about red flags in proofreading — the sneaky errors in documents that are easy to overlook, especially if you’re self-editing.

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Topics: common mistakes, common proofreading mistakes, proofreading red flags

Similar but Different: Choosing the Right Word

Posted by Terri Porter   Feb 4, 2015 6:00:00 AM

This note accompanied a recent job submitted to “Please check for any blaring errors.” And this excerpt appeared in another job: “Two witnesses must be present when you sign your advanced directive.”

Encountering a word that’s similar to the one that belongs but isn’t quite right is like stepping on a slippery object while walking in a murky lake — you know you’re not on solid ground but aren’t sure why.

Sometimes the answer is obvious, as in the first example, in which “blaring” (a loud and unpleasant sound) should be “glaring” (obvious or noticeable). Sometimes it’s less so. We see the error in the second example quite a bit at “Advanced” means developed beyond an initial stage. “Advance” is the correct term here, meaning “made, sent or provided at an early time.”

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Topics: word choices, common mistakes, misused words

Words and Phrases People Often Mangle

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Sep 24, 2014 6:00:00 AM

 Mark Twain said something like "Say nothing and they'll just wonder if you're a fool. Open your mouth and you'll remove all doubt." If he were living today, he would certainly not aim that remark at you, because you're reading the GrammarPhile blog and that makes you smarter than the average bear (we hope!). You always want to appear intelligent, don't you? Study these words and use them properly. Mark Twain would be proud of you.

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Topics: common mistakes, misused words

What a Difference a Space Makes

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Apr 10, 2011 5:30:00 AM

All day and all night, customers ask us to find problems in documents. Our editors are really good at it. Some mistakes are easier to find than others, of course. And sometimes a space makes all the difference.

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Topics: spaces, mistakes, common mistakes, space issues, spacing

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